The role of the Board of Trustees is to make sure that the Children’s Bereavement Centre operates safely, manages its finances effectively and to set the strategic direction of the organisation. The Chair of the Board works with the Business Manager to make sure the Children’s Bereavement Centre is working as well as it can to deliver the best services for families who have experienced a bereavement or loss.

Jo Butler – Chair of the board

Jo joined the Children’s Bereavement Centre in 2012 and became Chair in August 2013.  Jo has worked in the Community and Voluntary Sector for many years, as a Youth Development Worker at the award winning Unique Coffee Bar and as Funding Manager for Newark and Sherwood Community and Voluntary Services. She is currently Director at ISAS – Incest and Sexual Abuse Survivors, a Nottinghamshire Charity supporting Adult Survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Her specialisms are business planning, strategy and fundraising.

‘I was delighted to become Chair of the Children’s Bereavement Centre, I have always admired and respected the work that the charity carries out across Nottinghamshire and parts of Lincolnshire. You cannot underestimate the devastating effects bereavement has on a child and the work we do really does improve the chances and outcomes for the many children and families we support every year. I am looking forward to leading the Board and supporting the manager and the team in a time of exciting growth and development for the charity’.


Simon Shaw – Treasurer

Simon has been a Trustee and Treasurer of the charity since its formation in 2003. During this time Simon has seen many changes in the charity as it continues to develop its services.

Simon is a partner in leading local accountants Duncan & Toplis and brings his business expertise to the operation of the charity. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Newark as well as helping other local charity and business groups on a voluntary basis.


Robin Steedman – Vice Chairman

Robin has been on the committee of the Children’s Bereavement Centre since its inception in 2002 and has fulfilled the roles successively of secretary, vice-chairman and chairman. Robin trained and worked originally as a linguist and research librarian, but for the past 25 years he has worked as a church minister here in Newark and is in his second term as chairman of Churches Together. He is also a JP and on the committee of several other local charities, including the local branches of Age Concern, Community and Volunteer Services and Street Pastors.

“The work of the Centre is dear to my heart, and, having been widowed at a young age with three children, I am very aware what a lifeline it provides at such times.  I endeavour to use the many contacts I have gained to further and promote the work of the Centre. Within the charity I see one of my main roles as encouragement and support of the staff. Having worked for a charity myself for many years, I am very aware that being told you are doing a great job is good, but is no substitute for having a good employer! I hope very much that the Centre is just that, as well as an outstanding service provider.”


Mrs Julia Percy RGN – Trustee

Julia started working with the founder of the charity in 2007 in her professional role as the nurse at the Minster school. They worked together supporting many students age 7 to 18 years with various bereavement needs. The charity rapidly grew and demand for this vital service was high. There was a need for more support and vision at senior management committee level so Julia decided to volunteer for the Children’s Bereavement Centre and bring her skills to a cause that she is passionate about. Julia trained as a nurse in 1984 at St James University Hospital, Leeds and worked in A&E then specialised in Cardio Thoracic Surgery being Senior Sister of the unit at Killingbeck Hospital. Julia then further trained in counselling specialising in teenage bereavement issues and worked with Cruise Bereavement in Leeds for many years on their steering committee and set up the Leeds branch of Cruise.


Sue Leadbeater – Trustee

Sue became aware of the CBC some years ago in her role as a solicitor being a  Family Law specialist dealing with all issues arising from the breakdown of relationships and awareness of the feelings of loss that children often suffer when their parents separate. Sue actively sought out some advice about bereavement services the charity offered when her own children’s father died suddenly 4 years ago.

“When I moved firms to work in Newark at Andrew & Co 3 years ago I decided I wanted to directly give some of my time to help the Children’s Bereavement Centre and applied to be on the Executive committee when new members were being sought. I have since become Company secretary and have also trained as a volunteer as well as assisting with fund raising when I can. I try to combine my skills as a busy working single mother of two teenagers with all my experience gained as a family solicitor over 25 years including conflict and dispute resolution techniques learned over that time.”


Andrew Watson – Trustee

Andrew is a Chartered Management Accountant and has held a number of senior finance positions with organisations of various sizes specialising in corporate turnarounds.  Andrew has lived in Newark all his life and therefore fully aware of the valuable service that the Children’s Bereavement Centre plays in the local community.  Andrew joined the board of trustees in 2015 and is committed to ensuring that the organisation builds on its strengths to deliver the much needed service.


We are keen to recruit new members to our Board. The Board meets bi- monthly on a Tuesday evening, for about two hours.


We are looking for people who:

  • Understand and value the service provided
  • Want to become an integral part of the Children’s Bereavement Centre
  • Enjoy working as part of a dedicated team
  • Are willing to offer their own ideas and views
  • Can take responsibility when needed
  • Would show commitment and dedication

Ideally your background should be in an area that can help continue the development of the Children’s Bereavement Centre as a professional body, but personal skills are as important. Equally, becoming a Board Member can be a fantastic learning opportunity for you to develop new skills. Over the last few years we have had members with experience in legal work, social care, mental health, finance, administration and education.

If you think you have time to become a Trustee or would like more information, please contact Kate Baxter, Director of Services for an informal chat.

To request an application pack, please e-mail:kate@childrensbereavementcentre.co.uk

Make a donation